3/13: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

February job growth soared to 313,000, highest rate since July 2016

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 313,000 in February (versus 200,000 expected), and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent. The labor force participation rate increased by 0.3 percentage point over the month to 63.0 percent but changed little over the year.

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Wholesale sales fell 1.1 percent in post-holiday January as inventories rose 0.8 percent

January 2018 sales of merchant wholesalers were down 1.1 from the revised December level, but up 6.7 percent year-on-year. Total inventories of merchant wholesalers were up 0.8 percent from December and 4.8 percent year-on-year.

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Most U.S. housing markets have returned to pre-Great Recession price levels

CoreLogic:  After falling 33 percent during the recession, prices in most markets have returned to peak levels, growing 51 percent nationally since bottoming out in March 2011. The average home price is now 1 percent higher than it was at the peak in 2006, and the average year-over-year home equity gain was $14,888 in the third quarter of 2017.

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